Helen Amerongen, PhD, professor and associate department head for education in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, was one of six faculty members named as a 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winner at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Amerongen has played a lead role in developing her department’s online and microcampus teaching initiatives.
Online course development has been a critical part of microcampus preparation and expands learning opportunities for the department’s existing master’s degree program. It has become particularly timely as the University is working to expand its online learning offerings at an accelerated pace relative to pre-pandemic plans.
“Dr. Amerongen thinks about education at a deep and highly sophisticated level and enjoys taking on new challenges. Her courses have served as templates for all of us involved in the UArizona Microcampus Initiative, and she shares her materials freely and openly, offering tips and guidelines for online teaching,” said David G. Bear, PhD, research professor of cellular and molecular medicine. “I have served as a mentor to many other faculty members throughout my career, but I would have done a much better job had I known Helen Amerongen 30 years ago.”
For nominees to be considered for the award, now in its sixth year, mentees were asked to submit letters of nomination to the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs indicating the types of mentoring they received and how their mentor has contributed to their success. The annual awards honor faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to mentorship and recognize the importance of mentorship for the success of faculty.
“The Faculty Mentoring Awards were established to recognize the selfless faculty who are committed to empowering their fellow colleagues,” said Alice Min, MD, assistant dean of faculty development. “For junior faculty in academic medicine, mentorship is crucial. Finding someone who will support you, coach you through challenges, and help you build networks and find the right opportunities is essential.”
Dr. Amerongen’s research focuses on developing and evaluating curriculum for pre-health professions students, mainly in histology and ethics/professionalism, for online as well as international collaborative teaching and learning. A UArizona microcampus partnership with Amrita University in India will launch in the coming year, with Amrita students being given the opportunity to earn a master’s degree from UArizona’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine through a dual degree program.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” Dr. Amerongen said. “I very much appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given to work with so many talented and dedicated colleagues.”
The other 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winners are:
- C. Kent Kwoh, MD; professor, Department of Medicine
- Mindy Fain, MD; professor, Department of Medicine
- Lawrence Mandarino, PhD; professor, Department of Medicine
- John A. Szivek, PhD; professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
- Unni K. Udayasankar, MD; associate professor, Department of Medical Imaging